Amateur Photographer Forum competition results for the July 2014 round – Playing in the Shadows

Insert obvious metaphor concerning light, shadow and photography here. We all know how photography works and the way light and shade create images. At least I hope we do. If not, may I recommend Basic Photography by Michael Langford, available at very few bookshops but several online retailers.

You’ll notice that the shortlist is a little smaller than usual. The reason is, surprisingly, there were too many images that I liked. With that in mind I had to be brutal with my selection. I had to really like every image in the shortlist.

I was actually very surprised to see how creative people got with their images. Perhaps I should have known better. Last year AP included the first abstract round for many years in APOY. The round was my idea but I instantly regretted it as soon as it was made official. I thought it would be horrendous. What I didn’t expect was that it was possibly the best round we’ve ever had. People went crazy for it and we had more entries than ever before. Sometimes it’s stimulating when the parameters are a little vague. That’s what we have here. Just the word ‘shadows’ was enough to get you all experimenting and set your creative minds into action.

Contents not included
Prize applies to UK & EU residents only

Our first prize winner receives a Manfrotto Active Backpack I. The bag is a structurally sound, high-capacity yet compact rucksack that can also be used as a standard daypack. With its capacity to hold a DSLR system with 2 standard lenses, 15″ laptop as well as personal items and accessories. The bag has four zippered compartments with the top part designed for personal items and the bottom for photo gear.

3rd Place
Caledonia84 – Up on the Downside

There were a number of street photography images in this round. It’s not surprising considering the oppressively hot weather. Cities and towns offer so much in the way of photographic opportunities, and the way the sun interacts with the architecture and people is a photographer’s dream. I’m a big fan of street photography, so of course I had to have at least one street shot (or two if you choose to count the next image) in this list. Caledonia84 has chosen a fantastic perspective here. But it’s more than that. It’s the right time of day – I’m guessing nearing sunset judging by the harsh shadow and low-angled light – and it’s just the right person. It’s also perfectly timed. The shadow is contained nicely within the grid of the pavement. There’s something nice about the colours too. They’re muted but still just about present, particularly in the parking lines. This is a great shot.

2nd Place
MikeMike – Soft Penetration

I’m sure you don’t need me going off again about discovering the beauty within easily overlooked everyday scenes. But this really is another perfect example. It’s a clean, colourful, graphic and geometric shot. Would you notice this out on your adventures through the streets? Photography is of course about learning to see all over again. Your camera has to become an extension of you. Jimi Hendrix learned to play the guitar by keeping it strapped to his body even when he was at home doing
nothing. He never put it down. You have to be the same with your camera. Then wonderful shots like this will reveal themselves to you at every turn.

1st Place
Helander – Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis

Regular visitors to the gallery and forum should by now be familiar with Helander’s work. He’s a photographer with a staggeringly good eye for landscapes. This is another wonderful example of his ability to draw out the atmosphere of a location. In my undying quest to compare everyone’s work to that of famous photographers, I’d suggest taking a look at Tom Hunter’s latest project Axis Mundi. It’s a lovely project and a massive departure for the artist. That’s the work that came to mind when I saw Helander’s image and, as always, I mean that as a huge compliment.

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